Black Panther
John Z

Forest Hills, NY

#62 Feb 11, 2009
In Reply to Tina. I Live in Putnam County, NY. Last October, I was driving down my road just after dusk ,when a large black cat ran right in front of my car and up a dirt driveway. I turned my car into the driveway, and my lights just caught it's hindquarters disappearing into the shrubbery. This was not a dog, not a house cat or a bobcat. This was a large black cat with a boxy muzzle, round ears, and a long tail which was curved and held low as the cat ran. The cat was also low to the ground as it ran. I thought that I was seeing things, and only told my wife and a neighbor, until last week, when the cat was spotted by a couple of other people. Now I know that I am not crazy.

SWM

Since: Aug 08

Jacksonville, FL

#63 Feb 13, 2009
We were working 10 miles SW of Middleburg, Florida [near Jacksonville] last year in a wooded area about 1 pm in the afternoon. I saw him first and ran inside the house to get my business partner to confirm the sighting.

Forty yards away strolling across a scrubby brush field we spotted a large black Florida Panther. His tail alone had to be over 3 feet long and he was pure black. A gorgeous large powerful cat. I would guess 75 pounds. He jumped up on a tree stump and simply sat there as we watched for 10 minutes or so..He then sauntered off up to a barb wire fence and glided over it with the slightest effort then strolling on toward a nearby palm tree forest.

Next day we bought a camera/binocular combo in case it happens again which it has not so far.

The Florida Black Panther is real and exists today we can promise you.
Joan

Ocala, FL

#64 Feb 15, 2009
Last evening (02/06/09) at approximately 8:00 p.m., I was driving my mother-in-law home who lives in a mobile home community called Spanish Lakes Golf Village in Port St. Lucie, Florida. As I was driving on W. Carribbean in her community, a large, black and what appeared to be a panther about the size of a medium to large dog ran accross the road in front of us and into a car port. It was very dark in color (black), had what appeared to be obscured leopard markings, it's back very straight across and it had a very long tail. It was way too large to be a ferrel cat and it certainly was not a dog. Having lived in Florida all of my life (1954) I had never seen nor heard of a black panther in Florida. It was definitely black in color. Upon calling the Treasure Coast Wildlife sanctuary in Palm City, I was told that black panthers have been sighted, are extremely rare and have never been caught. Sightings began in the 1950's and were mostly located along the Beeline Highway in the Palm Beach Gardens, Florida area.

Pretty cool...

Very truly yours,
Joan
Winter Springs, FL

SWM

Since: Aug 08

Jacksonville, FL

#65 Feb 15, 2009
Thanks for that report Joan.

Congratulations on your sighting. I often wish we had reported ours from last year to the Fl Fish and Game.

That's what we remember too ...the extremely long tail, the long pure black sleek body...and the strength and agility as he soared over the fence.

WOW.

You are a very lucky person as are we bc apparently these sightings are EXTREMELY few and far between here in our great state.

Best Regards from N Florida darlin.
Micah Singleton

Santa Clara, CA

#66 Feb 16, 2009
Ask your local game wardens what protocol they have for dealing with escaped exotic pets, and watch them stutter.
Timmy Claiborne

AOL

#67 Feb 19, 2009
hi i live in east TN in the dupont area about 3 weeks ago i was comeing home from work and it was about 12 45 am. i was about to pass my aunts house when i saw something comeing to a fence on the left side of the road about 35 yards ahead of me. it looked like it came from a small hill that cows graze at.at first i thought it was a deer because deer graze on the hill and we usally see them up their. it stoped at the fence and just leaped over it like nothing. i slowed down because i thought it was a deer and i didnt want to hit it. when i got about 10 yards away i noticed it wasnt a deer i didnt know what it was. when i got beside it it backed away into the other lane. it was biger than a dog but not too huge it had a long tail. when i stoped it backed up then it started to come toward my car so i honked my horn and gased it up the hill and stoped at the chruch parking lot for a little bit and didnt see it again. it was weird bc i hunted most of my life i am 19 yrs old. i have never seen anything like it before but when i was about 12 we where sitting at my aunts where this happend and we heard something like a woman screaming bloody murder that sound will stay with me for the rest of my life. we honestly thought some one was being killed that my aunt called the cops and they came out and looked and found nothing. does anybody know what sounds like that in the cat family that could survive in the woods around east TN

SWM

Since: Aug 08

Jacksonville, FL

#68 Feb 20, 2009
Good story Timmy.

We used to have a 75 acre farm near Greenville Tennessee...Beautiful country with incredible limestone caves. Wish we had never sold it dangit.

We would oftentimes hear mountain lions in the evening just before dark at our 7600 foot elevation mountain cabin 50 miles SW of Denver but never the screaming bloody murder sounds you describe. Mountain lions sound more like big old cats.

Hope you post whatever thing it was making that noise if you ever figure it out.
Timmy Claiborne

AOL

#69 Feb 20, 2009
thanks SWM my aunt's contacted the fish and game before and they say thats what panthers sound like but they also say that there no supose to be near my area. the events i described have happend many years apart. i ve thought that one might just be passing by the area or something. i really dont know and people from the fish and game probably think where crazy i would probably would too if someone told me this but it really did happen. now days its hard to believe peoples stories. if anybody knows it would be helpful

SWM

Since: Aug 08

Jacksonville, FL

#70 Feb 21, 2009
We have camped out on the desert on a few occasions and some of those coyotes yelps and whines could be construed as a person in distress from a distance.

Those rascals are moving east into your area.

Never know but again, great story.

Maybe the mystery of not having figured out everything on the planet is good for us. Adds a bit of uncertain zest to life for sure.
jem

Lehigh Acres, FL

#71 Mar 29, 2009
This is for SWM - on the news last night, SW Florida has been alerted to coyotes attacking small dogs. You hit the nail on the head.
jem

Lehigh Acres, FL

#72 Mar 29, 2009
While I was visiting my mom a couple of months ago in Clinton, SC I was walking my dog (a Pekingese) near the woods during the late afternoon (trees are bare in winter) when she suddenly froze up and stared into the woods. I looked in that direction and saw a very large black cat. I knew instinctively that it was a black panther. Normally, my dog will try to chase or bark at any animal, but not this time. I also found myself frozen in place. The cat was walking parallel to us but stopped and looked at us, that's when I saw its green/gold eyes. Then it just turned and walked deeper into the woods. That's when I picked up the dog and walked as fast as I could back to the house. A few days later I was walking my dog at night near a rehab center and she spotted a skunk coming out of the woods into the parking lot. This time it took all my strength to hold her back from pursuing it. Just a side note: The skunk was white w/black stripe on back. My aunt who lives a few miles from my mom has seen the same type of skunk in her yard several times.
OK - the day after I came home to Port Charlotte, FL (west coast swamp w/lots of canals) I was driving down my road to go to work and spotted a black panther coming out of the woods and crossing the street into the other woods. It's ironic that I should see these two animals in such a short period of time. I know they weren't bobcats because we have a resident bobcat that I actually have a picture of as she walked down the driveway. She's quite beautiful. My feeling is, we have encroached so much that these precious animals are much more prone to visability more so than ever before.
frank

United States

#73 Apr 22, 2009
So many people, so few facts. This moronic thread starts with a guy saying leopards inhabit the US. Then people talk about black cougars which have NEVER been documented. There is then talk of FL Panthers being black. Please, just do a Google search of any of these things and try to actually learn something. I don't think that will happen, because I do not believe that you people appreciate reality.

SWM

Since: Aug 08

Jacksonville, FL

#74 Apr 23, 2009
frank wrote:
So many people, so few facts. This moronic thread starts with a guy saying leopards inhabit the US. Then people talk about black cougars which have NEVER been documented. There is then talk of FL Panthers being black. Please, just do a Google search of any of these things and try to actually learn something. I don't think that will happen, because I do not believe that you people appreciate reality.
Nobody is asking you to stay if you feel uneasy here...bye

SWM

Since: Aug 08

Jacksonville, FL

#75 Apr 23, 2009
jem wrote:
This is for SWM - on the news last night, SW Florida has been alerted to coyotes attacking small dogs. You hit the nail on the head.
Thanks for the update. Had no idea they were already that far south.
jem

Cape Coral, FL

#76 Apr 24, 2009
Consider it googled, frank - The U.S. Department of the Interior listed the Florida Panther as endangered in 1967 and congress passed the endangered species act in 1973. As the human population expanded, panthers began to lose more and more habitat (living space). The Florida Panther is special simply because it exists. As a top predator this subspecies of mountain lion is known as an “Umbrella Species” because its survival means the survival of the flora and fauna (plants and animals) that live in its range. If we are losing big cats, it is because we are losing natural wilderness areas to urban sprawl. In 1989 the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge was established and today it protects 26,400 acres of panther habitat. In 1993 wildlife crossings and fencing were completed along Interstate 75 and to date several more have been installed along other major roads in the panthers range.
In 1994 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approved plans to restore gene flow between the Florida Panther and Texas cougar populations. The panther and the cougar are both subspecies of the mountain lion. Panthers bred naturally with Texas Cougars where their ranges overlapped. This natural exchange of genetic material kept both subspecies of Puma healthy. Unfortunately, the panther population is now isolated in the southern tip of Florida. The program began in 1995 with the introduction of eight female Texas cougars into the panther population. The cougars have accomplished their goal of producing offspring with Florida Panthers and the program was completed in 2001. The estimated FL panther population in 1995 was 30 to 50, it is now estimated at 50 to 70. In 2000, several conservationists filed suit against the USFWS, US Army Corp of Engineers and the Federal Highway Administration to protect priority panther habitat in south Florida. Re-establishment of panther populations into appropriate portions of its former range is an important part of the recovery process and essential to prevent the extinction of the species. In 1988 and again from February ‘93 through June ‘95, a translocation study evaluated reintroduction feasibility, range and prey base in a suitable habitat in north Florida. The Okefenokee Swamp, Pinhook Swamp, Osceola National Forest, Apalachicola National Forest and other areas of the southeastern United States offer some of the highest potential. The study confirms that the cats can successfully establish territories and sustain themselves when reintroduced.
After more than two decades of research we are now in a phase of the process that requires a major public education effort. The current estimated population of Florida Panthers in the wild is 50 to 70. These numbers are up (from 30 to 50 in 1995) due to the success of the Genetic Restoration Program in south Florida. Florida Panthers once roamed the entire southeastern United States; including Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Arkansas. Now, the remaining population is isolated in South Florida where their habitat is shrinking due to over-development.
jem

Cape Coral, FL

#77 Apr 24, 2009
Oh yes, frank, while panthers were predominantly dark grey with reddish highlights (ladies, we'd probably kill for that look), the offspring of the black cougar could certainly produce a color of what would appear black if not completely black. Care to get close enough to confirm whether I'm right or wrong?

SWM

Since: Aug 08

Jacksonville, FL

#78 Apr 24, 2009
Good work jem...URA true gem
frank

Macomb, IL

#79 Apr 25, 2009
Florida Panthers are the same color as any mountain lion in the West. They are not black.
jem

Cape Coral, FL

#80 Apr 25, 2009
The cougar has numerous names in English, of which puma and mountain lion are popular. Other names include catamount, panther, painter because of its black tail tip, and mountain screamer. In North America, "panther" is used most often to refer the Florida panther sub-population. In South America, "panther" refers to both the spotted and black color morphs of the jaguar, while it is ... broadly used to refer to the Old World leopard. Source:en.wikipedia.org
jem

Cape Coral, FL

#81 Apr 25, 2009
Dear frank,

A black panther is a black (melanistic Melanism.
Melanism is an increased amount of black or nearly black pigmentation of an organism, resulting from the presence of melanin. It is the opposite of Leucism and albinism which occurs due to lack of melanin....)color variant of one of several species. In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring....of larger cat Felidae. Felidae is the family of the cats; a member of this family is called a felid. Felids are the most strictly Carnivore of the sixteen mammal families in the order Carnivora....
which are known by the term panther in various parts of the world, and belong to the feline genus.

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